Zale Corp. quarterly sales rose 1.6%

Zale Corp. Dallas, said same-store sales for the quarter ended Oct. 31 rose 1.6%, and total sales grew to $417 million from $412 million the year before.

Zale, in a statement, said it was pleased by customer response to new merchandising and branding efforts during the quarter.

In the first quarter, Zale repurchased about $104 million in common stock and ended the period with about 26 million shares outstanding. The buybacks will reduce first-quarter earnings by 2 cents a share, but increase fiscal 2004 earnings by 15 cents a share, the company said.

Zale will report first-quarter results Nov. 18.